Travel Magazine

Land Diving | Pentecost Island

By Vikasacharya
Land diving |  Pentecost Island

Land diving is a ritual performed by the men of the southern part of Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. The precursor to bungee jumping, men jump off wooden towers around 20 to 30 meters high, with two tree vines wrapped around the ankles.Pentecost Island is most famous for being the spiritual birthplace of the extreme sport of bungy jumping, originating in an age old ritual called the naghol, or land diving.Kiwi entrepreneur and the man that introduced us to modern day bungy jumping using a series of intertwined elastic bands, AJ Hackett, developed his idea from this ancient ritual that takes place on Pentecost Island.Between April and June every year, on a Saturday, men in the southern part of the island jump from tall towers (around 20 to 30 m) with vines tied to their feet, in a ritual believed to ensure a good yam harvest and fertility for men. The vine diving ritual is also now used to show acceptance into manhood.The Legend of the vine jumping festival tells of a woman who ran away from her husband who beat her and hid in a tall tree. The husband, Tamale begged her to say sorry and come down but warned he may beat her a little more.

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